Tim Simona of the Wests Tigers.
Tim Simona of the Wests Tigers. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Tiger faces ban over betting scandal

RUGBY LEAGUE: Wests Tigers centre Tim Simona is facing a ban after becoming embroiled in a betting scandal.

The NRL issued Simona with a notice to cancel his registration after he was alleged to have broken rules relating to gambling on the game. Simona has the right to appeal but has been stood down from training and will not be allowed to play before the matter is finalised.

He was withdrawn from the Tigers squad for their final trial against North Queensland at Campbelltown on Friday night.

The governing body did not reveal the allegations against Simona.

The NRL issued a statement on Friday afternoon saying: "The NRL today issued a notice of intention to cancel the registration of Wests Tigers player Tim Simona.

"The notice relates to alleged breaches of the rules relating to gambling on NRL matches.

"Simona will now be prohibited from training or playing with the club until the matter is finalised.

"He will be given a chance to respond to the allegations before a final determination is made.

"The NRL will not be commenting further until the matter is resolved."

The Samoan international has played 79 games for the Tigers since making his debut in 2011.

He was recently linked with an immediate move to the Gold Coast as the Tigers face a battle to balance their salary cap this year.

In 2014, the NRL banned five players including Manly's David Williams and North Queensland's Ethan Lowe after they were found guilty of betting on games involving their clubs.

The Tigers also sent out a statement confirming Simona was being investigated.

"Wests Tigers have been made aware that player Tim Simona is currently under investigation by the NRL integrity unit in regards to allegations of breaches of the rules relating to gambling on NRL matches," it said.

"The club will be making no further comment until the investigation is complete."

Meanwhile, fellow Tigers player Kyle Lovett is set to be banned for the first two games of the season.

The backrower was caught with cocaine in Pyrmont in December and recently fronted court where he was given a six-month good behaviour bond and recorded no conviction.

Given it was Lovett first offence, it's understood the Tigers wanted to do the right by the local junior and refrained from tearing up his contract.

Lovett fronted a club disciplinary hearing this week and is also set to be hit with a hefty fine for his actions.


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